Thursday, 26 January 2012

Google's Android developers want you to say goodbye to the menu button

Goodbye menu button, hello Action Bar overflow!  Today on the Android Developers blog Scott Main, lead technical writer from Google, wrote up a nice piece of prose about how developers should migrate away from the traditional menu-button based way of designing applications.  You see, Ice Cream Sandwich allows for the folks designing phones to do away with all those buttons we've grown accustomed to at the bottom of our screen, and replace them with software based buttons built into the OS and apps.  It's something we first saw in Honeycombtablets, where the need for menu buttons was removed by the introduction of the ActionBar class.  
Google wants developers, and in turn us users, to learn to love the Action Bar.  Scott gives examples of how the new Action Bar "overflow" (those three dots that replace a menu button in ICS) can replace what we traditionally needed a menu button for, and even how to build applications to use both methods -- developers don't want to forget all the devices that haven't been updated to Ice Cream Sandwich yet.  It's an interesting read for those who keep up with Android application interface guidelines, and a must-read for all you developers out there.  
Most importantly, Scott stresses that the application UI should have all the important  elements right up front for the user to see, and the overflow should be used for things not important enough to be on the screen.  He also gives instruction on how to make the legacy menu button not appear if it's not being used, and how to get rid of the whole Action Bar if an application doesn't need it.  As developers get their apps updated for ICS and beyond, we'll be able to say goodbye to those three dots we chase all over on "buttonless" phones and tablets.  That's a good thing.

Source: Android Developers Blog.  Thanks, Sebastian! and android central 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Google Maps Get a Quick Bug Fixing Update

What's in this version:

Fixes for bugs on tablets and phones
Improved battery performance for Latitude and Location History users, and fresher locations for friends in Latitude
Transit Navigation (Beta) can use vehicle speed to estimate location if GPS signal is lost
Increase route options for public transit directions from 3 to 4.
Report feedback to Google from the settings menu


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Google Finally Launches An Ice Cream Sandwich Style Guide - Please, Please, Please Follow It

Google is finally showing developers what an Android app should look like. Android Design is Google's freshly launched style guide for Ice Cream Sandwich. It outlines everything developers should do to make a high quality app that "fits in" with the rest of ICS.

Most of the big stuff is covered: Icons, color swatches, grid layouts, writing style, touch feedback - it's beautiful. Apps are normally all over the place, it will be really nice to see some consistency.
These are just guidelines, they won't be made mandatory in any way. So developers, I know this guide is insanely late, but please follow this. Consistency is important.
Google is finally getting serious about design. The rest of us need to get serious about it too.

Source: from Android Police

Samsung Galaxy S II NEW Official ICS 4.0.3 ROM leaked, New lock Screen and More [Demo Video]

Samsung has just finished working on a New ROM for the Galaxy S II I9100 ICS 4.0.3Update, the New ROM XXKPA leaked today with many improvements from the last two KP4 and KP8 ROMS that was leaked last week. However, this ROM is more stable but its still have some minor bugs.

This shows that samsung is still working to deliver the best ICS User Experience to all Galaxy S II users, The Final ICS ROM will be ready by the End of this Month.

Android: 4.0.3
Build date: 5 January  2012.
Changelist: 51925

XXKPA 4.0.3 Change-log:
  • Not much Interface changes from XXKP8.
  • New unlock Screen.
  • Battery life better. 
  • Phones looks faster.
  • Touch response is better.
  • Firmware more stable, but bugs still exists.

Video Below!

Source from Youmobile

16 MP Kodak Polaroid Android HD smartphone does optical zoom

Hey, look - it's Big Foot! No, it's just the Altek Leo, a creature that appears occasionally, the local newspaper writes about it and then disappears for another year. This time there's a big name attached to it at least, so maybe this time it will get a proper market release. Meet the Kodak Polaroid SC1630 Android HD Smart Camera.
Styled like an old school camera, the Polaroid SC1630's crowning feature is a 16MP camera unit (was 14MP when we last saw the Leo), with 3x optical zoom, F3.1-F5.6 aperture, ISO up to 3200 and shutter speeds of up to 1/1400. There's a xenon flash to go with it too. The SC1630 can shoot 720p videos.

Kodak Polaroid SC1630 Android HD Smart Camera

On the phone side of things, there's quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G connectivity, microSIM card, a 3.2" WVGA screen, Android OS (not sure which version) and a 2.5mm audio jack (huh?). The phone is rather thick at 18.5mm, but if you look at it as a point-and-shoot camera it's actually quite compact.
The battery is reportedly just 1020mAh, which is insufficient for all the mechanical zoom and xenon flash goodies, so we hope it will be replaced by the time the Kodak Polaroid SC1630 hits the shelves.
Kodak's contribution to the project comes in the form of their proprietary compression technology, which allows the user to tweak the size of photos.
The Polaroid Android HD will reportedly cost $299 when it hits the shelves in April, but Kodak is still in talks with carriers so it's unclear who will carry it. They are also considering offering the phone pre-paid.

Source and RCMix3D Team

cut the rope on the PC/MAC

for those people who like cut the rope, there is a way to play it on your PC and MAC now using your internet browsers just follow the link below:

Sony Ericsson Xperia S review

This video is a review of the new Sony Ericsson Xperia S phone from CES 2012

Monday, 9 January 2012

Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus to hit the uk soon

The Galaxy Ace Plus is the new phone in Samsung Galaxy family to hit the uk soon

more info coming soon and dates coming soon

[CES 2012] Google Maps with indoor mapping

Google updated its Maps application, bumping its version number up to 6.0 and adding, most notably, indoor mapping. At the time it was presumed that the feature would be most useful for navigating places like major malls, airports, and similar metropolitan areas; however, Google just added a new way to use indoor mapping: finding your way around the most important tech show of the year – CES!
Indeed, nearly each and every individual booth is lovingly labeled, and GMaps can even give you turn-by-turn directions to them should they be warranted (we’re sure they will be at one time or another, given the sheer magnitude of the place). And of course, since the maps are all online, you won’t need to update the application, either; simply search for the ‘Las Vegas Convention Center’ and discover the order in the chaos!
If you’re at CES, whether as a developer, a journalist, or a consumer, this is no doubt an incredibly useful feature (never mind the “wow” factor); better yet, it’s always waiting for you right there on your phone, just a few taps away. So, what are you waiting for?
sourced Via SlashGear and android police

Sunday, 8 January 2012

[CES 2012] Gametel Bluetooth Gives Just About Any Android Phone An Easy,Accurate Gaming Experience

For those unwilling to sacrifice the latest hardware (and software) for the rather dated Sony Xperia Play's convenient physical game controls, Gametel has introduced a Bluetooth controller with a familiar button layout that will accommodate just about any Android-powered phone. Even better, the Bluetooth controller has its own battery, charged via micro USB.

Gametel says that the controller is already compatible with over 200 games, and phones powered by Ice Cream Sandwich can make effective use of built-in controller APIs. There's no word yet regarding pricing or availability, but this nifty accessory can definitely be added to the "coming soon" category, and sounds like a promising alternative to unforgiving on-screen controls.
via SlashGear and android police

Saturday, 7 January 2012

O2 brings superfast 4G to London

O2 today will switch on the first 4G (or LTE - Long Term Evolution) network in the capital, offering a unique glimpse into the future of superfast mobile broadband. The trial, which will run for the next nine months, will see O2 equip hundreds of consumers, businesses and venue owners with the latest 4G technology and give exclusive access to the first and largest urban 4G network in the UK.

Over 25 4G sites will go live across London this month, covering a combined area of 40 square kilometres, between now and summer 2012.The network will stretch from Hyde Park to The O2 in Greenwich and has been carefully designed to cover key areas of the capital, including Canary Wharf, Soho, Westminster, South Bank and Kings Cross.
The network will enable O2 to provide a mobile internet experience comparable to the fastest landline fibre home broadband connections, unlocking a wealth of services including high speed corporate LAN access, high-definition film and music streaming, mobile online gaming and high-speed access to social networks. At these speeds, the time to download a 500MB file could be as fast as under one minute, compared to over 5 minutes on 3G.
Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica UK (O2), said: “Today’s launch of the UK’s first 4G London trial network demonstrates our commitment to delivering 4G to our customers at the earliest opportunity. The work we are doing now will lay the foundations for our commercial 4G network when it launches in the UK.”
O2 will provide trialists with Samsung B3730 mobile broadband dongles, supporting speeds of up to 100Mbps, and well as 4G personal wireless hotspots and handsets from a number of other vendors. Over 1000 individuals are expected to take part. Among those involved in the trial are a number of exclusive partners, including:


· John Lewis – the leading retailer, John Lewis, is one of O2’s largest corporate customers to be signed to the trial to pilot the benefits of 4G internally and explore the impact it will have on its operations

· The IET – the Institution of Engineering and Technology, with offices at Savoy Place, has joined O2’s efforts to demonstrate 4G capability amongst its membership

· Enterprise Nation – Emma Jones, founder and CEO of Enterprise Nation and co-founder of StartUp Britain, has joined the trial to share the 4G experience through her workshops with those individuals who she aims to help ‘start a business and grow a successful venture’

· The O2 – with its own dedicated 4G internal and external sites providing coverage to The O2 Arena and surrounding area, The O2 will play host to 4G live music video and film streaming demonstrations at the O2 Lounge and O2 Store, for both O2 customers and visitors to enjoy

· Gizmodo UK – readers of the recently launched Gizmodo UK are to be recruited on the trial for a period of three months. They will be selected at a private Gizmodo UK 4G launch party at The O2, and will be invited to provide feedback and content to the site via a reader’s panel
Real-time network performance data, combined with anecdotal feedback from customers, will be collected throughout the trial. The results will be used to influence and shape O2’s plans for the commercial implementation of its forthcoming 4G network, following Ofcom’s 4G spectrum auction, which is expected to take place in 2012.
The O2 4G trial will use the 2.6GHz spectrum band under a Test and Development licence granted to O2 by OFCOM, and is an extension of O2’s earlier 4G trials in Slough that have been running since 2009. The 2.6GHz band supports the maximum 20MHz RF bandwidth for LTE, which allows 4G speeds of up to 150Mbps.
“O2 has been at the heart of the mobile data explosion over the last three years and our priority has always been to build ahead of the curve,” continued Ronan Dunne. “Our work in London will give us a better understanding of the capabilities of 4G technology and will allow us to explore the superfast benefits it will bring to people and industry across the UK. This 4G trial is the next step on our journey to a smarter network - a network that offers a seamless, connected experience across multiple devices, locations and services.
“The forthcoming spectrum auction is a watershed moment for the UK mobile industry, which will see the release of the airwaves capable of powering a whole range of exciting next-generation mobile services. We are actively engaged in the auction and are supportive of a fair process that meets the Government’s and Ofcom’s planned timeline.”
Editor of Gizmodo UK, Kat Hannaford, said, "O2's 4G trial spells great news for the UK and we’re thrilled that readers of our site, launched late September, will be amongst the first in the UK to benefit from these super-fast speeds, helping to test O2’s network. While we still have several years before 4G networks are available to consumers, this is a big step-forward for the industry and an exciting development for the UK’s capital.”
Telefónica UK’s 4G trial network has been deployed using equipment supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks for both the Radio and Core network elements. Backhaul for the 4G trial network has been provided using Microwave Radio Equipment from Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited, NEC and Nokia Siemens Networks.
The trial in London is now live and will run until June 2012.

O2 to have the biggest hotspot area in London

(Sorry for iPhone photo o2 showed it on there Facebook account)

Landmark deal creates Europe’s largest free wifi zone

Visitors to and residents in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea are to enjoy free wifi access on their mobile phones, laptops and tablet devices following a landmark deal between Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and network operator O2. The deal will result in the largest free wireless hub in Europe, making free wifi available to millions of residents and visitors.
The deal, which will run at no cost to the councils or the taxpayer, is part of both councils’ plans to ensure that the millions of visitors that come to the city have the best experience possible and can make the most of what London has to offer - particularly given the double celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympic Games taking place this year - whilst delivering longer term benefits to businesses.
Free wifi access will be available throughout Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea once the Metro wireless network is installed on the street furniture. It will initially be rolled out in a limited number of areas and then throughout the boroughs over the longer term. O2 will begin installing the network in January 2012. O2 Wifi launched in January 2011 with the ambition to roll out free, fast and open wifi, via strategic partnerships, across the UK.
Cllr Philippa Roe, Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance at Westminster City Council said:
“This is a landmark achievement for Westminster; Westminster welcomes over a million tourists a day, is home to 250,000 residents, employs over half a million people and sees 4,000 business starts-ups each year. Next summer’s Olympic Games mean that London will be putting on the biggest show on earth and as Westminster has a starring role, visitors to London will easily be able to share their pictures and updates of the Olympic events across social networking sites.”
Councillor Nicholas Paget-Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to come to this agreement and we look forward to working with O2. Residents and visitors having free access to the latest mobile technology will help us to continue to offer value for money for residents.”
Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer for O2 said, “This groundbreaking deal - the first of its kind in the UK - will see us deliver high quality connectivity across London in time for London 2012. Our longer-term aim is to expand our footprint of O2 Wifi, which is open to everyone, and also intelligently enhance our services at street level, where people need the network the most.
“Our £500m annual network investment programme is focussed on integrating new layers of technology into the existing network to enable a seamless and sustained customer experience. We are driven entirely by our customers’ needs and believe that services should be delivered in the best possible way, across multiple networks and supported by different technologies.”

  • Telefónica UK Limited is a leading communications company for consumers and businesses in the UK, with  22.2 million mobile customers and 800,000 fixed broadband customers as at 30 September 2011.
  • Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc, a business division of Telefónica S.A. which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic, and has 57.8 million customers across these markets.
  • In 2006 Telefónica Europe acquired Be, the UK fixed broadband provider, and in October 2007 O2 launched its broadband service using the Be network.
  • O2 is the naming rights partner of The O2, the world-class entertainment venue.
  • O2 employs around 11,000 people in the UK and has 450 retail stores.
  • In October 2010 O2 was voted the UK’s best mobile network by the readers of both What Mobile and Mobile Choice magazines.
  • O2 was ranked highest in customer satisfaction for both UK mobile and fixed broadband customers according to the J.D. Power and Associates UK Mobile and Fixed Broadband Studies 2010.
  • O2’s UK 2G mobile network provides voice and data services to 99% of the UK’s population.
  • O2’s UK 3G (HSPA+ 900 / 2100 MHz) network currently provides voice and high speed data services of up to 14.4Mbps (21Mbps in the coming months) to over 84% of the UK population.
  • O2 was the first UK operator to deploy a 4G/LTE trial network which has demonstrated peak speeds of over 100Mbps to a mobile device.
  • Telefónica Europe also owns 50% of Tesco Mobile, which operates in the UK and Ireland, and 50% of Tchibo Mobilfunk in Germany. 

O2 announces new wi-fi hotspot

About O2 Wifi

We’re launching a hotspot network called O2 Wifi. It’s free. And you don’t even have to be an O2 customer to use it.

Even if your mobile’s with another network or you get your home broadband from someone else, everyone’s welcome.

What you get

Our Wifi will give you speeds up to ten times faster than a normal mobile connection. So it’ll be as good for YouTube as it is for email. It’ll be simple and safe to use.
Once you’ve signed-up, that’s it. No passwords or usernames to connect. And it won’t eat into your mobile’s data allowance. Just quick Wifi, whenever you’re near one of our hotspots.

Where you'll be able to get it

By the end of the year we’ll have set up thousands of hotspots. And by 2013, we’ll have 14,000 hotspots across the UK – double the number any of our competitors offer now.
You’ll be able to use our Wifi in shops, cafes and bars. Then train stations, airports, shopping centres, libraries, parks and stadiums.
If you’re a business and you want to offer O2 Wifi to your customers, email us at

Xbox Live could be coming to Android soon

At this moment in time it's only our cousins over at WPCentral who get to enjoy the best Xbox Live mobile experience from Microsoft. But according to a recent job listing, that could be changing in the future.
The job posting itself requires 2 years of mobile application development, and more specifically experience of Windows Phone, iOS and Android being a big plus.
Is it that surprising really that Microsoft would want to get Xbox onto Android? Not hardly. Market share alone would sight that as a positive step, but it would be a bit of a kick to the Windows Phone platform. Either way until we see something on our Android devices we'll have to treat it with a pinch of salt, but there's a lot of people who'd be excited to see this.
Source: Microsoft; via Liveside

Friday, 6 January 2012

Samsung galaxy nexus in white is out in early Feb

The Samsung galaxy nexus is due on UK shelves on the 6th Feb.
As you can see from the photi the phibe is not completely white with looks very sexy.
There is no details on the price for this handset yet